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US congress members support closer Taiwan trade ties after failed pork referendum

Senator Chuck Grassley says he looks forward to ‘expanded trade’ with Taiwan

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Taiwan and U.S. flags (Getty Images)

Taiwan and U.S. flags (Getty Images)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — U.S. members of Congress on Tuesday (Dec. 22) voiced support for closer trade ties with Taiwan following a failed referendum to ban U.S. pork containing ractopamine residues over the weekend.

Senator Chuck Grassley from Iowa tweeted out that Taiwanese voted against the referendum that would have overturned President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) move to allow imports of American pork into Taiwan. The senator then thanked the Taiwanese government and citizens for their friendship with the U.S.

Grassley said he looked forward to “expanded trade” with Taiwan and said Beijing needs to understand “we Americans resent Chinese intimidation of Taiwan.”

In response to Grassley’s post, Congresswoman Ashley Hinson from Iowa also tweeted, “Taiwan is our partner in democracy & continues to be a strong export market for Iowa pork producers.” She added, “We are committed to Taiwan & must continue to stand up to Communist China!”

Taiwanese took to the polls over the weekend to vote on four referendum issues put forth by the opposition KMT party: banning US pork, restarting the mothballed 4th nuclear plant, moving a planned liquefied natural gas terminal, and referendum scheduling. Voters rejected all four issues, in what is being seen as a win for President Tsai and the Democratic Progressive Party.